This month we were invited to attend a consultative group meeting at the Ministry of Justice focusing on legal aid reform. This was in relation to evidence which we provided from our research into deaths by suicide in Gloucestershire. We have been asked to provide further information since the meeting, and our full report “Research Into Deaths By Suicide In Gloucestershire” is being shared with colleagues at the Ministry Of Justice who are working on other aspects of reform within the inquest system / coroner’s court.
This article written by our CEO in The Independent continues to be shared. She explains, from her own experience of having been sectioned, why women are at particular risk of suicide while detained in psychiatric hospital.
“A high proportion of these women may have experienced traumatic events involving physical assault or some other loss of power or control. That hospital staff understand this is a matter of life and death.”
Joy, our CEO, and Katharine, CEO of Agenda, were guests on the BBC Radio 4 programme “Woman’s Hour” on 22nd August, talking about the new CQC figures which show that more women than men are dying by suicide while detained under the Mental Health Act. Joy spoke about the impact of sectioning on traumatised women and what might help reduce the risk of re-traumatisation when a person is under section.
She was also interviewed about our Suicide Crisis Centres and how our services differ from those of mental health services. She was asked to explain in particular how we work with people who have experienced trauma.
Her interview starts at around 11 or 12 minutes into the programme:
Her interview was also in the weekend edition of Woman’s Hour which features highlights from the previous week’s programmes.
This article, published in The Independent this weekend, explains how we respond to emergencies during a 24 hour period at our Suicide Crisis Centre, at a time when a heatwave brings increased numbers of clients, and staff shortages within mental health services create an even greater need for our services:-
We will be speaking alongside Madeleine Moon MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on suicide and self-harm, at a Public Policy Exchange symposium in London on the 22nd May. The focus of the event is “strengthening the suicide prevention policy” and we will be looking particularly at effective strategies for reducing the risk of suicide in men. Please contact us for further details, particularly if you would like to attend.
Joy, the founder and CEO of Suicide Crisis, has been named as one of the “fifty greatest Gloucestershire women of all time” by our local newspapers in the county. Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, worked with our local newspapers to decide on the list.
She was also named as one of the “hundred most influential women in the West” by the Mirror group newspapers (Trinity Mirror).
Thank you to “The Guardian” for publishing a second article about our Suicide Crisis Centre. In this article, Joy (our CEO) looks at the power imbalance that exists between psychiatrist and patient within mental health services. She describes how her experience of feeling disempowered under that system impacted upon the way our Suicide Crisis Centre was set up. The article also emphasises that lived experience of mental illness should be seen as an advantage for professionals who work with people in crisis, not a disadvantage.
On social media, the most quoted line from the article is “It is entirely possible to be both a psychiatric patient and a competent professional”.
The link to the article is below:-
Reinventing Mental Health Care: Putting Patients In Charge
We have received a letter from 10 Downing Street which states: “The Government appreciates the excellent work that the Suicide Crisis Centre does.” “The Department of Health is always keen to learn from best practice and often uses this to help develop national policy. Information about your important work has been received with interest.”
“We never set out to achieve zero suicide. We simply set out to do everything that we could for each individual to help them survive”.
Thank you very much to The Guardian for publishing this article about our Suicide Crisis Centre
Joy was invited to a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on suicide and self-harm in the House of Lords in December.
This month she has been invited to provide a further submission for the Health Select Committee inquiry into suicide prevention, following on from the oral evidence she gave in parliament last year about our Suicide Crisis Centre. This time she has been asked to comment on the Government’s updated strategy on suicide prevention.
Joy has also been invited by the Government’s adviser on suicide to meet with Health Select Committee Chair, Sarah Wollaston, in early February.